Letters | Thanks for advocacy


Thanks for advocacy

(Re: “Hospital fails rape test,” Uncensored, Aug. 4.) Thank you, Pamela White, for your enduring vigilance, support and advocacy for survivors of sexual assault.

Your article on the hospital that incorrectly advised a victim on having to pay for her own rape kit called out a critically important issue for survivors, who are already silenced by the most personal of crimes.

Marti Hopper, Moving to End Sexual Assault/Boulder

Exemptions to rental code

I appreciate Jefferson Dodge’s accurate and unbiased article on Boulder’s rental license enforcement efforts. However, interested landlords and tenants will also benefit from additional statutory information pertaining to exemptions to the Boulder rental license requirement.

These articles come from the Boulder Revised Home Code, Chapter 10-3. (www.colocode.com/boulder2/ chapter10-3.htm) 10-3-2 Rental License Required Before Occupancy and License Exemptions.

(b) Buildings, or building areas, described in one or more of the following paragraphs are exempted from the requirement to obtain a rental license from the city manager.

(1) Any dwelling unit occupied by the owner, or members of the owner’s family, and housing no more than two roomers who are unrelated to the owner or the owner’s family. An owner includes an occupant who certifies that the occupant owns an interest in a corporation, firm partnership, association, organization or any other group operating as a unit that owns the rental property.

(2) A dwelling unit meeting all of the following conditions:

(A) The dwelling unit constitutes the owner’s principal residence; (B) The dwelling unit is temporarily rented by the owner for a period of time no greater than 12 consecutive months in any 24-month period; (C) The dwelling unit was occupied by the owner immediately before its rental;

(D) The owner of the dwelling unit is temporarily living outside of Boulder County; and (E) The owner intends to re-occupy the dwelling unit upon termination of the temporary rental period identified in subparagraph (b)(2)(B) of this section.

Kurt W.G. Matthies/Longmont

GMO process rigged

Editor’s note: The following is an open letter to the Boulder County commissioners.

After attending the cropland policy meeting [on Aug. 10], I am compelled to write. I believe you have actively conspired to disenfranchise Boulder County’s 300,000 citizens through a contrived policy process. You owe every citizen an apology and should make amends by getting the entire community involved in the policy debate. You asked citizens to give you more money, a 33 percent increase last time, to acquire more open space. You neglected to note how you were allowing those lands to be planted with GMOs and sprayed with pesticides, a process that degrades soil, water and environmental health. Not a small oversight.

Your hand-picked cropland team is not representative of the community. Three GMO farmers making policy which directly governs how they farm is a conflict of interest. Another member is a 2004 GMO policy insider. Dea Sloan openly castigates and belittles the only commercial organic farmer on the panel. It’s insulting to those of us advocating for open discussion about how “our” open space should be used and preserved. Public participation has been shunted, and our overall best interests are not being considered. It’s all for the benefit of a handful of current conventional farmers.

That evening’s panel discussion was a bizarre spectacle, a veritable GMO sideshow of industrial farm propaganda, complete with slides from Monsanto. What more egregious way to insult and disenfranchise an audience under the guise of an open discussion than by parading home-cooked GMO experts spouting the virtues of GMOs feeding the world? Only Dr. [Michael] McNeil presented a reasonable and balanced outline of the issues and discussed transitioning

from chemical to organic practices. His remarks were the most thoughtful. As a reward for his years of education and experience, Keith Bateman curtly posed the question “Are you anti-GMO?” confirming what I already knew. The other two gentlemen were shepherding policy development further down the GMO farming path, while Dr. McNeil was courageous enough to provide a balanced discussion. He farms both organic and GMO and understands the risk-reward relationship. The CSU professor admitted they [CSU] receive money from Monsanto, and the third fellow showed Monsanto slides and stated repeatedly that GMOs will feed the world. Excuse me, but we’re talking about how open space croplands are to be stewarded, and we ended up watching a GMO beauty pageant! Disenfranchisement wasn’t feeling very good at all.

My desire is to make open space cropland policy a broad public discussion, not the insider deal that has been conducted thus far. Ron Stewart and a handful of farmers are dictating what 300,000 citizens must accept. It’s not right. GMO biotechnology puts all organic and non-chemical farming operations at risk. Pesticides engineered into every GMO plant cell put animal and human health at risk. It’s a fork full of pesticide in every bite. It still shocks me, realizing this stuff has been loosed upon the public and we weren’t warned. Sort of like GMOs being planted on open space cropland.

An apology is in order for this rigged debate. I’ll expect that you do the right thing and change the process so that all citizens have a say on whether GMOs are to be planted on Boulder’s public lands. They bought it. Take open space budget and invest in practices that build soil and grow crops we can use here that benefit all Boulder County residents. Farming without chemicals and gene traits was around a lot longer than GM technology and pesticides. Farmers can do it. They did it before. If they’re going to farm public open space, it’s time they embrace and honor the public-private relationship, with the risks and rewards shared and enjoyed equally by everyone. Time to step up and accept the responsibility of your office and duties, folks. The process is broken, and you need to fix it PDQ.

Scott Smith/Boulder

It’s ‘natural’ persons, Paul

(Re: “Banning corporate personhood would destroy U.S. economy,” Danish Plan, Aug. 11.) Paul Danish once lost a close election that could not be recounted in any meaningful way because the corporations who designed the voting machines and corrupted the voting system wanted it that way. He never learned anything from that experience, and resisted the voting machine reform for which Boulder activists lead the state. His incredibly broad generalizations are typical of the irrationality and shallow thinking that is so characteristic of Libertarian dogmatism.

There are a few limited analogies to personhood that facilitate non-mega-sized corporations’ usefulness to the society that allows them existence. However, like all analogies, their correlation is, indeed, limited, and must be vigilantly regulated against otherwise inevitable abuse — certainly not allowed to enter the arena of human and civil rights.

The Royalty of the British Empire enforced their corporate conspiracies not only with soldiers but also with the Royal Navy, whose main function for hundreds of years was to protect and obey the orders of criminal organizations such as the East India Company, whose tea brewed in Boston harbor was corruptly exempted from the tax that competing colonists had to pay.

The deliberate and conspiratorial omission of the usual “natural” modifying “persons” in the 14th Amendment has led to an incredible process of gradual but thorough corruption of the purposes of the ingenious U.S.

Constitution, and not much precious time remains for its correction back to the spirit of the Founders’ intentions.

Lou Puls/Boulder

Don’t pop your bubble

There is no scientific evidence to support the idea that diet soda uniquely causes an increased risk of vascular events or stroke (“Sorry to Pop Your Soda Bubble,” Dear Pharmacist, boulderweekly.com, July 28). According to the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute of the National Institutes of Health, there are a number of heart disease and stroke risk factors which can be controlled, including high blood pres sure

or hypertension, abnormal blood cholesterol levels, tobacco use, diabetes, being overweight and physical inactivity. Risk factors beyond our control include age, family history of early heart disease or family history of stroke.

When it comes to Type 2 diabetes, we know that a primary risk factor is obesity, something which can be mitigated by maintaining a healthy weight and being physically fit. In addition, low-calorie sweeteners can help reduce calories and sugar intake and aid in maintaining a healthy weight — positions supported by the American Diabetes Association and the American Dietetic Association. Furthermore, numerous peer-reviewed published studies have shown that diet sodas are proven to be an effective tool for weight loss and weight maintenance.

Importantly, our industry supports and encourages healthy lifestyles by providing consumers with myriad beverage choices in a wide range of calories so they can choose the beverage that is right for them. Also, with our Clear on Calories labeling initiative we are making the calories in our products even more clear and consumer-friendly by putting calorie information at consumers’ fingertips at every point of purchase. Tracey Halliday, vice president, American Beverage Association/ Washington, D.C.

The attacks on Israel

The terror attacks in Israel last Thursday were unprovoked and targeted civilians, which is terrible. Israel gave them a chance to calm the situation, but they continued to fire rockets at civilians. The people who live in Israel have the right to defend, and they should not have to live in fear of terror attacks.

The United States and other countries should condemn these attacks.

Ties with Hamas (terrorist organization that receives money and weapons from Iran) should be cut by the international community.

In addition, the international community should be against the Palesinian unilateral bid for statehood, which is backed by the United Nations. Instead we should encourage Palestinians to return to unconditional peace talks with Israel.

Crystal Spencer/Westminster

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